The Chocolate Chip Cookie you never knew you needed (for the lazy baker)
There are hundreds, if not thousands of chocolate chip cookie recipes. I've tried many, with both success and failure at getting that perfect point of crispy-chewy-buttery-chocolatey perfection. I'll admit, when it comes to baking cookies I'm extremely impatient. I don't usually have buttered softened, or eggs at room temperature, and I know as a pastry chef that these are things I should be taking into account, but sometimes I just want to be lazy and use eggs from the fridge, one bowl, and a couple of sheet trays. Let me introduce this magical one-bowl cookie dough batter. Everything goes into one bowl. How easy was that? The gimmick here is softening the butter in the microwave, not until the point it's melted but just soft enough that its easy to mix with the sugars. Think the texture of melting ice cream. Otherwise, the recipe is fairly straightforward, all it requires is a little elbow grease, a bit of chilling (10-15 minutes while you preheat the oven) and you're good to go.
Now, unfortunately I am a baker and therefore I use a scale to weigh my ingredients (you should too, it makes life so much easier!). At some point I'll try to measure it out but for now I'll have to try and persuade you to invest in that 20$ piece of cooking equipment.
Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes 14-16 depending on how large your scoops are
180 grams all-purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
¾ teaspoon salt
125 grams (1/2 cup or 1 stick) unsalted butter, melted slightly until softened
90g grams granulated sugar
65g grams light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla bean extract
180 grams dark chocolate, roughly chopped
Maldon Sea Salt for sprinkling
1. Place the butter into a small microwavable bowl. Set the timer for 30 seconds, if the butter is straight from the fridge this should be the perfect amount of time. Add the butter into a large bowl along with the sugars. Beat well until the mix becomes light in colour, about 3 minutes. Don't worry if it looks soft at this point. Add the vanilla and the egg, beat until well combined.
2. Place the bowl on the scale and add the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Mix about 3/4 of the way before adding the chocolate and folding to combine. You don't want to stir forever, it will work the gluten too much and you will end up with tough cakes cookies, not what we want here!
3. Place the bowl into the fridge while you preheat the oven to 350F/180C. Line two sheets with parchment paper. Using a normal spoon, take rough scoops and gently place onto the sheets, leaving 1.5-2 inches between the cookies as they spread. Bake on the medium racks in the oven for 10 minutes. Remove the tray carefully and tap the entire sheet on a surface, quite firmly. This will help get those crackly edges. Do this 2-3 times before adding a touch of sea salt and placing back into the oven for another 2 minutes. Remove and slide the parchment with the cookies onto a cooling rack.
*You can pre-scoop these onto a tray and freeze them. When frozen, place into an airtight bag. Baking them from frozen will yield a different texture, as the composition of the butter changes when going from frozen to baked. I'll test it out on the next batch (aka the next craving) and let you know!
Simplifying your summer grilling is essential in my books. By using fresh, simple and good quality seasonal ingredients, you can make some really easy recipes in literally no time at all. In summer it’s all about maximizing those warm summer nights grilling outside and minimizing the time you spend in the kitchen. Enter this grilled salmon salad. Light, zesty (thanks to the herby chermoula), and healthy, this is the perfect midweek dinner. It’s also beautiful and easy enough to make for an impromptu dinner party, which in my mind is the greatest gift because who wants to be stuck slaving away in the kitchen when you’ve got friends over?
I have to say the best thing about making this dish in particular is that I was lucky enough to cook with All-Clad’s Rectangular Outdoor Stainless Steel Roaster.Like many All-Clad pans, this roaster is madefrom durable stainless steel so it can withstand high temperatures making it perfect for the barbeque. It’s perforated so the smoke from the grill adds great flavour to both the asparagus and the salmon without me having to worry about the spears slipping through the grill grates or the fish skin sticking. Not to forget, these pans are dishwasher safe, making the cooking clean up that much easier.
Now back to the food. Smokey grilled salmon, charred asparagus, fresh peas and a simple lemony-yoghurt dressing…need I say more? Honestly, summer grilling is all simplicity and seasonality. Check out your local farmer’s markets, buy colourful ingredients, experiment with different flavours, these are the joys of cookin. Now turn on that grill and try this dish!
Grilled Salmon Salad with Asparagus and Chermoula
Cook time: 15 min
Prep time: 10 min
1.5lbs Sustainably farmed salmon
4 tbsp olive oil, divided
½ bunch asparagus, tough stalks trimmed
1 lemon, halved and zested
½ cup fresh peas
¼ red onion, thinly sliced
1 cup baby romaine hearts
½ cup plain greek yoghurt
1 tsp toasted cumin seeds
1 garlic clove, grated
2 tbsp fresh cilantro, finely chopped
2 tbsp fresh parsley, finely chopped
2 tbsp fresh mint, finely chopped
2 tbsp toasted walnuts, roughly chopped
Salt and black pepper, to taste
1. Preheat the grill to medium high heat. Coat the salmon and asparagus spears with 1 tbsp of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and place on the roasting tray. Slice half the lemon into thin rounds and place on top of the salmon flesh.
2. Roast the salmon for 12-15 minutes until slightly firm to the touch. Remove the asparagus around 8-10 minutes, turning it halfway until charred.
3. Meanwhile, place the red onion into a bowl of ice water to draw out the bitterness.
4. In a small bowl combine the greek yoghurt, toasted cumin, 1 tsp of lemon zest, the juice of half a lemon, grated garlic, fresh chopped herbs and remaining olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
5. To serve, spread a couple tablespoons of the yoghurt dressing on the platter. Toss the remaining dressing with the romaine hearts, red onion, and fresh peas until well coated. Tip the salad on top of the yoghurt and top with the asparagus spears. Gently flake the salmon into large pieces and arrange on top of the salad. Sprinkle with chopped walnuts and serve.